It is officially spring. Hey dinga ding. And a hey and a ho and a hey nonny no. The forecast for tomorrow holds snow. Yes, snow.
Am I allowed to complain? I who have spent eight days out of the last snow packed, frigid month in Bermuda, sweet warm Bermuda, with sand in my toes and green grass all around? Thank you to Sylv, the hostess with the mostess, for that respite.
The Vacation in Not-So Brief:
Get up at 3am, -24 outside, drive, fly, land, head immediately to beach,eat beautiful beet soup by Sylv and go to bed early.
Day 2: A long walk along the rail trail with Sylv's friend Zeudie. Then to Gibb's Hill Lighthouse with Ron the super charming, nattily dressed cab driver for stair climbing, view viewing and yummy lunch with pots of tea. Managed to spill a full pitcher of milk all over. Horseshoe Bay for the afternoon with Teresa and her beautiful girls. Jack flew his new kite. Sal got wet and chattered her teeth. Smith ignored the signs and climbed high on dangerous rocks with Sal to wave at us down on the beach. Saw a huge parrotfish swimming in the shallows, flashing emerald. Drove up the hill to Tio Pepe's where we drank Sangiovese and ordered a bit of everything ("Finally, people who know how to eat"; Teresa). Ate, ate, ate while the kids ran wild, crawling under the table and dancing to themselves in the cloudy mirrored wall. Drove home (Sal on my lap again - freaky!) for more play and bath.
Day 3: Dockyards with Teresa after lunch. Sylv took Smith on her scooter. Wandered through the glassworks and Sylv's favourite gallery (with 4 kids in tow - brave weren't we?) then past the grumpy gatekeeper to see the dolphins being fed. Jack and Aimee taking turns snapping with my camera and Sylv's. Great pictures of course.We meandered through the museum but spent most of the time playing airplanes in the irresistable wide green common. We stayed on for dinner at the pub and waited a long time in the cold evening breeze for a bus. A couple was kissing in the bus shelter so we didn't go in. Jack is exhilarated by his first bus ride through the night. Sylv meets us at the stop with the running stroller - she has gone on ahead with her scooter and we carefully make our way along the rail trail in the dark with lots of reassurances for Jack.
Day 4: 11am -My birthday present from Sylv - a 90 minute massage from an incredibly gifted Sri Lankan woman, who Sylv calls "The Hands of God". We stop to buy groceries on the way home - all of the vegetables look bionic to me. Sylv says this is not the norm. For three big paper bags of groceries the bill is $187. !! We head home for a relaxed afternoon of arts and crafts. Late that night, Smith and I sit on the lawn and listen to the tree frogs.
Day 5: Took the ferry over to town. Coffee in the park and then home again for lunch and several clothing changes before heading to the Aquarium. Instead of Harbourfront for dinner we end up staying at Teresa's, playing Wii and getting take out sushi and pizza from The Specialty Inn. The kids were very happy to just get down on the floor and play - lots of new toys for Jack and Sal.
Day 6: A good run this morning, Smith and Sal following along. Sylv runs errands while we head to Church Bay Beach. Lots of big rolling waves and wind but the air is the warmest it has been all week. Sylv eventually joins us and we stay for hours. A painter sets up his easel and works for most of the afternoon. On the way back up from the beach, Sylv recognizes him as her favourite Bermudian painter - the first time she has met him in the 9 years she has lived there. Smith's favourite day. Later that night, I am falling asleep on the couch so Sylv and I hatch a plan to scoot over to the grocery store and buy chocolate cake. Ken comes home from hunting in Florida with a turkey in his cooler. We sit at the kitchen counter in our pj's and visit.
Day 7 : Runaround in town day - busy sorting things for Sylv's birthday. Head to the Underwater Institute by bus - Sal naps on the way. We love the Shell Room. Beware the Poisonous Gastropods! I love learning that only two people have ever been to the deepest part of the ocean (More people have gone to the moon and scaled Everest). Go to Rosa's for lunch - TexMex, right across from the freight docks full of containers, visit Sylv at work, then order flowers for Sylv's birthday. I manage to knock over a large vase full of water at the florist's. People say hi to Jack wherever we go: "Hey young one." "Hello little man". "Hey small one. How are you?" He never responds right away. He needs time to see his way into a conversation. We grab another excellent coffee from the frenchman at the Lemon Tree and race to catch the ferry over to Dockyard to get Sylv's birthday present, a painting by the man we saw at Church Bay. We find a perfect one of figures running along a beach, entitled Winter Sunshine. Then the bus and home again, home again. My turn to cook dinner - good old carbonara standby.
Day 8: The beach. The fabulous beach. Take the bus to Elbow. Stay until the snacks have run out and we are hungry. Then walk up to the Paraket to sit on stools at the bright green counter to eat burgers and drink milkshakes. Wait for the bus at the pole planted perilously close to the road. I sit on the rock wall and fear for my kneecaps while Smith entertains the kids on some nearby grass. (Grass -it was so good to see grass!) Ian calls with the news that it is snowing in Texas. Sylv and Ken bring home Indian for dinner. Mmmmmmmm. One last walk to the secret beach. Can see the lighthouse flashing out and around, out and around. We all stand around in the driveway for a while looking up at the million stars. We check the weather forecast for Toronto. More bloody snow. We hope for delays that might keep us here longer.
Last day: No such luck. Smith and I head to West Whale for one last dip. Then home to snow snow snow snow snow snow snow snow like crazy cakes all over the darn place.